My Loft of the Cabin where I store all my virtual reads, reviews and discover new adventures and share new stories!
I could not resist using the line, yes I make myself giggle, but this week has been one of the most difficult of my life in a long time. I think perhaps I will write about it later but today I want to share Lakebridge: Autumn, a book which is part of the series which is near and dear to my heart.
I am always leery when reviewing books by authors I end up becoming close friends with. I was one of the lucky ones who got spoon fed the chapters before the final draft and in the end I let the last few just sit in my inbox because I did not want to ruin the full book experience. After my reviews of Lakebridge: Spring and Lakebridge: Summer, I am hard pressed to top the complex deconstruction of that with this new installment of the horror series from Natasha. To simply say it will scare your pants off is doing Autumn an injustice. To say go read it, is just strong-arming those who trust me (but GO READ IT). What I will say is this is the best in the series and has secured itself in what hopefully will become a cult classic in the area of horror.
As I have mentioned in the past, horror for me is not just a genre. However in our reading world today everything needs to be in it’s own special box and it is a specific genre which is one of the most popular across most forms of media/entertainment. We as a society need more and more to get our heart racing, unfortunately some writers and film makers feel the need to just shock us instead of challenge us on a deeper level, as the masters in the past have. Horror books would be more about the psychological aspects of fear instead of being lazy and showing us gore. If you have noticed the only books within horror I have been reviewing lately are zombie books because let’s face it, those at least are not really about the gore, and the zombies are not the monsters in the book but part of the landscape. The real monsters are within the people. Troop does the same thing, except…. but I don’t want to compare her to zombie reads, her books are literary fiction, as is “complex, literate, multilayered novels that wrestle with universal dilemmas”.[Sarrick 2005, page 32]. Lakebridge: Autumn is not a book you can breeze through and skim in areas. Jump into the book and discover the other monsters some with form and some with no form. It is up to you to discern and separate them and at times let them take over.
There is a movie I have watched over and over again, FOUR ROOMS unlike many people what I find intriguing about this movie is that though each “episode” within each room is setting us up for the finale. You can read each of them by themselves, but you will miss the thread that holds the books together (yes there is another book coming… and I will apologize to you ahead of time for what I will be posting…). Lakebridge: Spring is setting it up, giving us just a tiny taste of the kind of writer she is. Lakebridge: Summer allows us to feel almost safe but still tasting a bit of grit … Lakebridge: Autumn? Oh holy crap make sure you are not on anything because otherwise you will be questioning a few things and have one of those bizarre conversations with the cat because everyone is thrown on one of those carnival rides which spin you around and around and around..and darkness falls because.. well
Perhaps one of Troop’s strongest talents going for her is character development. By now readers of the other two in the series are majorly invested in some of the main characters, especially Gil. Who would have thought this one-armed man who was building toy trebuchets to take out his tiny covered bridges while selling Birch Beer to extremely tall women who are passing through on their way to Vermont, that is if they can resist the pull of the bridge and not heed the warnings of a lone moose… Oh the Moose…( hmmm maybe the moose is the MacGuffin..)
Her characters, even the ones which are at the beginning of each book (see excerpt) all solid. We are completely entranced by even the mention of some weird lady living in a cabin in the woods with some obsession about bacon (who the hell inspired this I have no clue.. hmm). The funny thing is, well the humour! It is chuck full of it. Talk about a story device (and there are a plenty within the book). She builds up all these characters, some as simple as the hermit in the woods, some as complex as Gil. No matter what we are heavily invested in each and every one so when Troop does what she does to a few of them, well let’s face it we are shocked, we feel and we weep or we go… WTF now what??? We all want to have certain folks make it… but this is a horror story, and when I saw this is going to go boom I thought I understood it… then it ended and things started to crumble and a door opened in my mind (not just in the end of the book but several times throughout) I went …
But what about the sandwich? I mean if a bridge is not just a bridge, and a sandwich is… or is it? Or is the sandwich not a sandwich but a bridge or… help! Seriously, perhaps the bologna sandwich is the MacGuffin! Hmmmmm… well, you never know till you read it!